Virginia Coalition of Police
and Deputy Sheriffs




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Police Chiefs Decry Deep Budget Cuts That Would Make Communities More Vulnerable

For Immediate Release
Contact: Wendy Balazik
Monday, February 07, 2005
(703) 836-6767, ext. 264

Bush Administration Slashes More Than $1 Billion in Funding For
Law Enforcement Assistance Programs

Alexandria, VA: Released this morning, the Bush administration's budget for
Fiscal Year 2006 slashes more than $1 billion in funding for vital programs
that state, local, tribal and university police agencies rely on to protect
American communities from crime and terrorism. In response to these
crippling cuts, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is
urging Congress to support increasing funding for these vital measures.

"This administration talks about homeland security but then guts funding for
the very programs that help secure our homeland," said Joseph Estey, Chief
of the Hartford, VT Police Department and President of IACP. "This budget
cuts funding for critical law enforcement assistance programs by 90 percent,
forcing many departments to continue using antiquated and inefficient
communications equipment and others to lay off officers. In smaller
communities like mine, some chiefs won't be able to hire desperately needed
officers. The administration is asking police agencies to take on even
greater responsibilities with less and less funding. Discretionary funds for
departments to use for equipment and technology have been virtually
eliminated at the local level over the years and, under this budget, it has
been eliminated at the federal level. It just doesn't add up."

Based on a preliminary analysis of the proposed FY 2006 budget, some of the
most successful programs are on the chopping block, including the Community
Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program and the Justice Assistance Grant
(JAG) Program. (In Fiscal Year 2005, Congress and the Bush administration
combined the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant Program with the Edward Byrne
Memorial Grant Program to create the JAG
Program.) Each of these programs has allowed state, local, tribal and
university law enforcement agencies to increase their capabilities and
improve their effectiveness. These programs have strengthened the core
capabilities of law enforcement agencies and have greatly improved their
crime fighting efforts. Instead of shoring them up to keep communities safe,
the Bush administration cut funding for the COPS program by 80 percent (a
reduction of $488 million) and completely eliminated the JAG
Program (a cut of $634 million) in the Fiscal Year 2006 budget.  

Founded in 1893, the International Association of Chiefs of Police is the
world's oldest and largest association of law enforcement executives with
more than 19,000 members in nearly 100 countries.